On the herding of cats Georgia Public Library Service
Who's who <ul><li>Administrative Lead </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General direction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political transla...
Defining Goals <ul><li>Long term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible and general time-lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over-arc...
Defining Goals <ul><li>Medium Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soft deadlines – weeks or months +/- 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
Defining Goals <ul><li>Short term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short cycles – week at most </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual ...
Developer Do's <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discus everything until all stakeholders  understand the issues </li></ul...
Developer Don'ts <ul><li>Do Not: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave your ego at the door, but ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let ...
And finally ... <ul><li>Don't fear a fight! </li></ul><ul><li>bradl </li></ul><ul><li>miker_ </li></ul>
Administration Do's <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to everything your engineers have to say </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Administrative Don'ts <ul><li>Do Nott </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Force hard long-term time-lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Req...
Customer Do's <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate from the start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be honest with initi...
Customer Don'ts <ul><li>Do Not: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make assumptions about functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoi...
Meetings <ul><li>As often as needed and no more </li></ul><ul><li>Do it until it's done </li></ul><ul><li>Include delivera...
Tools / Environment <ul><li>Telecommuting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spontaneous meetings are BAD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contro...
Results Measurement <ul><li>Were short, medium term goals on time? </li></ul><ul><li>Did the general long term time-line s...
Thank you for your time! Georgia Public Library Service
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On The Herding of Cats

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Presentation by Mike Rylander at Code4Lib 2007 in Athens, GA.

At PINES we have the luxury of a very supportive administrative team. Through trial and error over the last three years we have had the chance to glean a set of do's and don'ts for the building of a successful in-house development team and environment. We would like to share our experience in the hope that others may be able to duplicate our successes and avoid our missteps at all levels, from developers on up to management.

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On The Herding of Cats

  1. 1. On the herding of cats Georgia Public Library Service
  2. 2. Who's who <ul><li>Administrative Lead </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General direction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political translation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Team Lead / Project Manager </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Developers / Domain Specialists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your customers! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The reason you are there </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Defining Goals <ul><li>Long term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible and general time-lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over-arching framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functionally dependent Milestones </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Defining Goals <ul><li>Medium Term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soft deadlines – weeks or months +/- 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full team functional deliverables </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Defining Goals <ul><li>Short term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short cycles – week at most </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual technical deliverables </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Developer Do's <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discus everything until all stakeholders understand the issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question every assumption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For instance, a standard is useful only if it's in use elsewhere too </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build technical consensus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring on the numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Push up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Push back </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call shenanigans </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Developer Don'ts <ul><li>Do Not: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave your ego at the door, but ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let your ego rule you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take management support for granted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mistake discussion for consensus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forget to bring the numbers when pushing up (or back) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. And finally ... <ul><li>Don't fear a fight! </li></ul><ul><li>bradl </li></ul><ul><li>miker_ </li></ul>
  9. 9. Administration Do's <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to everything your engineers have to say </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advocate for the customers (to the engineers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advocate for the engineers (to the customers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to your engineers (yes, it's here twice) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Administrative Don'ts <ul><li>Do Nott </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Force hard long-term time-lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Require non-optimal working environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be afraid to adjust the team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discount empirical evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believe the hype </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Customer Do's <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate from the start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be honest with initial feed-back </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for clarification if something is confusing </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Customer Don'ts <ul><li>Do Not: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make assumptions about functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid “touchy” subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worry about looking ignorant (you're not supposed to know about programming) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Meetings <ul><li>As often as needed and no more </li></ul><ul><li>Do it until it's done </li></ul><ul><li>Include deliverables stakeholders and no one else </li></ul><ul><li>And, of course... </li></ul>
  14. 14. Tools / Environment <ul><li>Telecommuting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spontaneous meetings are BAD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Control over development equipment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the right tool for the job </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No language or tool mandates! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The right tool is whatever gets things done </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Results Measurement <ul><li>Were short, medium term goals on time? </li></ul><ul><li>Did the general long term time-line slip? </li></ul><ul><li>Functionally complete? </li></ul><ul><li>Customer acceptance? </li></ul><ul><li>Most importantly, </li></ul><ul><li>Working Code Wins! </li></ul>
  16. 16. Thank you for your time! Georgia Public Library Service

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